The Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) recently honored TechHelp client, Rekluse, with an “American Manufacturing Hero” video.  Al Youngwerth came to the New Product Development Lab at Boise State with an idea for a better motorcycle clutch. TechHelp mechanical engineer student/employee, Sean Brown, sat with Al and helped him design and prototype his idea and turn it into a real product. In 2018, Sean Brown is the President of a large and growing Rekluse and Al has diversified into a  company known as Versabuilt, that makes practical automation solutions for the modern machine shop. The Rekluse story demonstrates TechHelp’s importance to the manufacturers, inventors, entrepreneurs, students, educational institutions, and communities of Idaho.

Access TechHelp Flyer

From offices in Boise, Post Falls and Pocatello, TechHelp Manufacturing Specialists help Idaho manufacturers, food processors and inventors/entrepreneurs improve their competitiveness through continuous product and process innovation. Our services fall into three primary areas of practice that include:

The words EXTENSION and PARTNERSHIP capture TechHelp’s spirit:

  • We extend our people, services, resources, knowledge, and expertise to help Idaho manufacturers, processors and inventors improve competitiveness and profitability.
  • We can be an extension of your company and your staff. Call us when you need us and send us away when we are done.
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    Dave O’Connell (L), of TechHelp and Idaho State University, meets with Packaging Specialties, Inc team in Burley, ID.

  • TechHelp gives you access to a deep pool of local and national resources through our university, private sector, and national MEP partners.
  • TechHelp Manufacturing Specialists are available statewide thanks to our university partners.

Our Mission

TechHelp strives to be a catalyst for strengthening Idaho manufacturing – accelerating its ongoing transformation into a more efficient and powerful engine of innovation driving economic growth and job creation.

Our Vision

  • Accessible – TechHelp is an accessible organization that communicates regularly with clients,  partners, and employees. TechHelp builds business relationships based on long-term commitment, trust, tangible results and putting client interests first.
  • High Performing – TechHelp enhances customer satisfaction by helping businesses transform their operations and become self-sufficient in managing the change.
  • Impactful – TechHelp is a public investment that pays for itself through significant returns to businesses, stakeholders, and the state economy. TechHelp activities drive higher productivity and wages, an increased tax base, quality jobs for Idaho graduates, growth in rural areas and improvements to the environment.

Our Guiding Principles

  • Customer success is our passion.  Our customers receive innovative and highly impactful consulting services that drive sustainable company success as measured by performance, profitability, and growth.
  • Relationships are critical.  We achieve these successes by developing and maintaining lasting, principle-based, trusted-advisor relationships with key company leaders, by observing and listening, and then offering holistic assessments and proven practices that facilitate effective team-based solutions.
  • We work as a team.  Our team success is the result of a focused strategy powered by three distinct but closely related components:  1) Business development, 2) Client consulting and, 3) Project economic impact.  Our organizational efficiency is enhanced by valuing and leveraging the contributions of our internal team, third party service providers, and our key stakeholders (e.g., Board members).
  • We value individuals.  Our people are our colleagues on the continuous improvement journey; they embody the skills and characteristics that are TechHelp’s competitive advantage.  It is imperative that we behave in ways that utilize every bit of our team’s abilities—to not do so leads to failure.  We are more than the sum of our parts; synergism is enhanced by respectful inclusive dialogue, thinking together, honesty, and ultimately caring for one another.
  • Internal and external positive outcomes are enhanced by self-directed individuals, who communicate openly and respectfully.  All individuals operate on good faith assumptions and include their team members in all key aspects of the business.  As a group, we recognize a wide variety of individual contributions are key to the success of the team.
  • Our consulting is unbiased, innovative and authentic.  Our brand is powered by unbiased consulting, by providing skilled delivery resources, and by consistently satisfying our customers.  Our name recognition is bolstered by the existing brand clout associated with the three state universities and the national Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) system and is synonymous with actively demonstrating the best practices we use with our clients.
  • Positive financial impact is fundamental to our success.  TechHelp’s financial health is reflected in a healthy reserve balance established by multiple, steady streams of:  client revenue, state and federal grants, and special initiative grants.  Our financial success is boosted by our reputation for plainspoken honesty, data-driven strategies, and innovative, long-lasting, and highly impactful solutions.

Our Partnerships & Affiliations

TechHelp is a partnership of Idaho’s three state universities and provides services statewide using university facilities around the state. This partnership gives Idaho companies access to university facilities, students, and faculty available to meet their needs.

As Idaho’s affiliate of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST MEP), TechHelp gives Idaho companies access to the knowledge and expertise of a national network of 1,500 manufacturing experts at 60 Centers.

As Idaho’s Economic Development Administration University Center, TechHelp is tasked with leveraging university resources to create growth and jobs in rural and economically distressed areas of Idaho.

TechHelp partners with many private and public sector organizations to meet the needs of Idaho companies.

About NIST MEP

NIST MEP Flyer

The MEP program is a federal public-private partnership that provides small and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs) technology-based services they need to thrive in today’s economy and create well-paying manufacturing jobs. MEP is managed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and implemented through a network of industry-led centers located in every state. MEP centers are not-for-profit corporations that employ industry experts who work directly with manufacturers. Manufacturing is one of our country’s greatest economic strengths, producing 11.7 percent of GDP. Over 99 percent of manufacturing firms in America are considered small, with less than 500 employees.

As a public-private partnership, MEP delivers a high return on investment to taxpayers. A 2017 study by the Upjohn Institute for Employment Research conducted a study found that MEP generates an 8.7:1 return on investment.  In 2017, MEP clients reported $12.66 billion new and retained sales and the creation or retention of 110,721 jobs. Considering that the average U.S. manufacturing worker earns more than $82,023 in wages and benefits per year, MEP clients are economic drivers in their communities. MEP clients are also increasing their capacity for the production of goods. MEP clients reported $3.5 billion in new investments directly attributed to their work with MEP.


Why and How is Manufacturing Good for Idaho?

  1. Manufacturing creates economic vitality and good jobs – Idaho Manufacturing Data from NAM 
  2. Modern manufacturing is cool – Snowmobile racer designs, builds and uses his own high-tech leg.
  3. Modern manufacturing is really cool – Mountain bikers design, build and enjoy high-performance gear.
  4. How TechHelp and NIST MEP serve U.S. Manufacturers.